Søren Grammel

Biographical Information

Søren Grammel, born in 1971 in Grossburgwedel, is head of contemporary art since 1960 at the Kunstmuseum Basel. 

Grammel studied at the University of Hildesheim and Goldsmiths’ College in London. As a trainee at the Frankfurter Kunstverein from 1999 until 2000 he was involved in the process of redefining the Kunstverein’s position under the directorship of Nicolaus Schafhausen. Grammel was subsequently appointed artistic director of “Videonale 9”, where he engaged in a debate on the form and function of video festivals. He remained in this post until 2001, during which time he also initiated the long-term project “Es ist schwer das Reale zu berühren”. In 2001 Grammel was awarded a “Young European Curators” scholarship by Foundation Germinations Europe and Allianz Kulturstiftung, which ran until 2002. From 2002 to 2004 he was chief curator at the Kunstverein München, where he developed concepts for the exhibitions “Telling Histories” (2003), “Es ist schwer das Reale zu berühren” (see above) and “Total motiviert. Ein soziokulturelles Manöver” (2003), as well as for “Atelier Europa” (2004), realized by Marion von Osten and Angela McRobbie. As a member of the jury for “40 Years Videoart.de” he was chiefly responsible for the selection of works from the 1990s onwards.

From 2004 to 2005 Grammel was a research assistant at the Kunsthochschule Kassel, and in April 2005 he published the book “Ausstellungsautorschaft” (Frankfurt am Main). A position as guest professor (held jointly with Jan Verwoert) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Umea (Sweden) from 2003 onwards led to the exhibition “We invite all” (organized in early 2005 as part of “Whatever happened to social democracy?” at the Rooseum in Malmö).

In 2005 Grammel became artistic director of the Grazer Kunstverein for the next six years, where his programming concept has gained positive recognition, for example from “frieze” magazine in the category “Looking back: best themed shows 2007”. From 2009 until 2010 he has also held the post of curator-in-residence at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. From January 2012 until October 2013 he has been artistic director of the Kölnischer Kunstverein.

Exhibitions (selected)

  • „A wavy line is drawn across the middle of the original plans“, Kölnischer Kunstverein (2012)
  • “Johanna Billing”, Grazer Kunstverein (2010)
  • “Studienraum kuratorische Praxis. Mit Amy Croft und Demoraum”, Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna and Grazer Kunstverein (2010)
  • “Provisorisches Yoga”, Grazer Kunstverein (2009)
  • “Demoraum 4.1”, Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna (2009)
  • “Nora Schultz & Pernille Kapper Williams”, Grazer Kunstverein (2009)
  • “Benoit Maire & Falke Pisano”, Grazer Kunstverein (2009)
  • “Idealismusstudio”, Grazer Kunstverein (2008)
  • “Bakic, Frei, Hugonnier, Snyder”, Grazer Kunstverein (2008)
  • “Andreas Fogarasi”, Grazer Kunstverein (2008)
  • “Die Blaue Blume”, Grazer Kunstverein (2007)
  • “Nina Könnemann”, Grazer Kunstverein (2007)
  • “Bernd Krauß”, Grazer Kunstverein (2007)
  • “traurig sicher, im Training”, Grazer Kunstverein (2006)
  • “Never for money, always for love”, Grazer Kunstverein (2006)
  • “Mladen Stilinovic”, Grazer Kunstverein (2006)
  • “Luca Frei”, Grazer Kunstverein (2006)
  • “Eine Person allein in einem Raum mit Coca-Cola-farbenen Wänden”, Grazer Kunstverein (2006)
  • “Es ist schwer das Reale zu berühren”, various venues (2001–2010)
  • “We invite all” (research project as a contribution to “Whatever happened to social democracy?”), Rooseum, Malmö (2005)
  • “Telling Histories”, Kunstverein München (2003)
  • “Total motiviert”, Kunstverein München (2003)
  • “Raus hier! Eine Ausstellung und Konferenz zum Thema weggehen”, Galeria Arsenal, Bialystok, Poland (2002)
  • “Videonale 9”, Bonn (2001)
  • “Eine Munition unter anderen”, Frankfurter Kunstverein (2000)
  • “Kino der Dekonstruktion”, Frankfurter Kunstverein (1999–2000)

Søren Grammel 2009, Copyright: Sunah Choi
Søren Grammel
Artistic director, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne

Contemporary art
Cultural theory
Artists’ and curators’ support
Project-based approaches

Søren Grammel